Agriculture in the Harappan Civilization

Agriculture in the Harappan Civilization

The abundance of fertile Indus alluvium has led to agricultural production surpluses.

Agriculture was the basis of the Harappan economy along with pastoralism (cattle-rearing).

The granaries that had been found at sites such as Harappa, Mohenjodaro and Lothal acted as grain stores.

In a field at Kalibangan tools such as furrows or plough-marks were found.

Which suggests agriculture by the plough.

Banawali, in Hissar district of Haryana, has also reported a terracotta plough.

Irrigation was carried out on a small scale either by drawing water from wells or by diverting water from the river into canals.

The main food crops included wheat, barley, sesamum, mustard, peas, jujube, and so on.

The evidence for rice has come from Lothal and Rangpur in the form of pottery embedded husks.

The more essential crop was cotton.

Besides cereals, fish and animal meat were also a component of the Harappan diet.


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Trade in the Harappan Civilization

The network of trade, both internal (within the country) and external (foreign), was an essential feature of the Harappans ‘ urban economy.

The craftsmen needed different kinds of metals and precious stones to produce items, but because these were not available locally, they had to be imported from outside.

Thus the Rajasthan region is rich in copper deposits, and copper was acquired by the Harappans mainly from the Khetri mines here.

The gold could have been provided by the Kolar goldfields of Karnataka and the Himalayan river beds.

Jwar mines of Rajasthan may have been the source of silver. It is assumed that in return for the Harappan goods it may have come from Mesopotamia too.

The Harappans engaged with Mesopotamia in external commerce.  This was primarily in the Persian Gulf, from Oman and Bahrain. It’s supported by the appearance in these regions of Harappan art details like shells, seals, cards, etc.

Exports to Harappans from Mesopotamia included objects such as clothes, fur, perfumes, leather goods, and sliver.